Thy Kingdom Come is a global wave of prayer uniting Christians around the world during the days from Ascension Day to Pentecost. From 21-30 May 2020, the Diocese of Exeter held a prayer room open on Zoom, and a number of churches, including Exeter Cathedral, signed up to lead periods of prayer.
Since April 2020, I have been jointly hosting a shared Lectio group on Tuesday evenings. I led two such sessions during Thy Kingdom Come, and participated in a third. The following are my reflections only, during the prayer session and as I wrote them up. Please see my separate commentary and leaflet for more information about shared Lectio.
30 May part 2
Gospel reading: John 21.20-23
Different meanings of turned:
- Peter turning to face backwards
- Metanoia, repentance, turning a new leaf
- Turning back from the plough (Luke 9.62)
- Mary Magdalene turning to Jesus (see 14 April 2020)
- Cheesy 1980s pop: “You spin me right round…” and “Turn again, bright eyes”
- Turning my mind to something, or turning something over in my mind
I need to avoid being turned by others, to take responsibility for myself and my own actions. And I need to recognise and admit culpability whenever I turn back to compare myself with others… and to take care to re-turn to my own path.
30 May part 1
Gospel reading: Ephesians 6:18-20
Words: I must speak
I listen to the birds outside my window and on other’s unmuted Zoom feeds. I enjoy them, doing what is natural to them. They must raise their voices. “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork.” (Psalm 19.1).
Must I speak? How? I seem to have put my head above the parapet in any case, leading these Lectio sessions.
Gospel reading: Matthew 3.13-17
In Centring Prayer, I consent to the Spirit’s presence and action, God’s work in me.
Here is John the Baptist consenting to doing something for Jesus. How beautiful that Jesus receives from us! See also the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet (eg Mark 14.3-9).
How do I do something for Jesus today? Two things I can do are to spend time with him in prayer and to work on being loving to myself. Then it takes openness to other opportunities and it is a challenge to see Jesus in everyone we meet: “If you do anything for the least of these, you are doing it for me.” (Matthew 31.40).